A Legal Analysis of School Searches

By Czubaj, Camilia Anne | Education, Summer 1995 | Go to article overview

A Legal Analysis of School Searches


Czubaj, Camilia Anne, Education


A wadded-up looseleaf paper flew across the classroom. A seemingly typical classroom disturbance; however, on inspection, the crumpled paper contained marijuana. A student brushed up against another student en route to the pencil sharpener. A drug deal was made. A textbook was passed to another student; another drug deal. The teacher turned toward the chalkboard to write the lesson, a student jumped out of his seat, and made a drop two rows to the right before the teacher turned to readdress the class. A female student loaned her make-up compact to a fellow classmate to primp. Beneath the make-up puff was the "hit". A student entered the classroom with a flannel shirt tied around his waist. One sleeve was fun of snuff to be sold to classmates. During class changes eye contact is made to prospective buyers, hands pass behind the students or to oncoming students, making deals. Money is rolled withwise, easily concealable in hands. A mere handshake can produce a drug deal, all under the supervision and eyesight of a teacher. In all the above actual scenarios, a warrant to search would not have been practical. Is it reasonable suspicion of an unlawful act to pass a textbook in class? Hardly so, yet drug deals are made in this manner during school hours. Most drug deals are not carried out in parking lots or school lavatories, but students make drug deals within the classroom. The teacher present. Some students school for the sole purpose of drug dealing where the potential customers are readily accessible and in abundance. School lavatories extrude smoke into hallways. Asthmatic students find it difficult to use the facilities. States are passing anti-smoking laws prohibiting smoking in and on all school premises. Metal detectors are being installed at school entrances in an attempt to curb the increasing weapon possession by students in schools. School searches produce evidence to the before mentioned illicit activities. Some school searches have been deemed unconstitutional by the court system. Many school searches have been upheld with the evidence obtained through school searches; the student being convicted of unlawful behavior.

School searches fall under the jurisdiction of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, arid no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

The Fourth Amendment is used by courts to determine whether a school search was constitutional or unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court case, New Jersey vs. TLO, tested the Fourth Amendment with a school search in 1984. New Jersey vs. TLO is the case subsequent school search cases use to uphold the legality of a school search.

The U.S. Supreme Court case, New Jersey vs. TLO, was decided January 15, 1985. The case began in 1984 when a New Jersey high school educator discovered two female student smoking in the school lavatory, a violation of school policy. The student was taken to the assistant principal where the student denied the smoking charge. The assistant principal demanded to see the student's purse in which he found a package of cigarettes. Upon removal of the cigarettes, the principal found cigarette rolling papers and preceded to search, discovering marijuana, a pipe, plastic bags, a large amount of money, a listing of students owing money, and two letters implicating the student in marijuana marketing. The state brought TLO to juvenile court. The court found the school official's search was reasonable and the Fourth Amendment did indeed pertain to school searches. The case went to the appellate division of the New Jersey Superior Court where the previous court's finding was upheld but supported the court's findings with other grounds than delinquency. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Legal Analysis of School Searches
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.